Irish Daily Mail
Garda warning over rise in fuel thefts
GARDAÍ are calling on vehicle and home owners to be vigilant following a spate of fuel thefts across the country.
Over €500 worth of diesel was syphoned from trucks which were stationed in a business park in Limerick on July 20.
Despite being disturbed by the property owners in the early hours of the morning, the thieves managed to make off with their gains.
Fuel theft is a crime that usually happens at night and occurs quickly – a fuel tank can be emptied in minutes, leading gardaí to warn people to remain vigilant.
But it’s not just petrol or diesel that’s being stolen, there are rising reports of home fuel thefts from industrial or residential tanks.
According to Netwatch Ireland and UK, a 1,000-litre tank can be emptied in minutes, with tools ranging from a simple syphoning tube to a pumping system.
Increased incidences of home fuel theft were reported in Laois, Offaly, Galway,
Limerick, Kilkenny, Wexford and Carlow back in March, resulting in gardaí releasing a series of tips to secure both commercial and home oil tanks.
These include installing alarms, antisiphoning devices, signage, security lighting and CCTV around tankers, keeping gates closed and for commercial users, implementing fuel management systems to check on fuel levels.
Following thefts in Laois and Offaly last month, gardaí said to ‘place the tank as close to the house as regulations allow and in view of one or more windows’ so as to make sure a thief could be seen, while they stressed to make sure a tank wasn’t too close to the road.
Concerned citizens were also advised to turn to technology, with gardaí recommending new devices which will ‘set off an audible alarm when the oil level drops dramatically, as would happen if there were a leak or theft, and alerts the receiver unit.’
Despite petrol dropping nearer to the €2 mark, people are still being warned to be diligent, as fuel prices are bound to be volatile in the coming months.
With the onset of winter, the price of home-heating fuel will increase further, leading to higher profit margins for criminals, who are also bolstered by the fact that stolen oil is very difficult to retrieve by police.
Independent TD and former head of the Irish Road Haulage Association Verona Murphy earlier said that she expects petrol thefts to go up as people increasingly can’t afford to buy it.
She said that she’s heard of fuel being stolen from commercial haulage premises and knows that ‘people who are using fuel on a commercial basis have taken every security precaution they can think of because they know it’s liable to happen’.